COVID-19: 1.1m vaccinations as 2% of population now infected

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has addressed the nation, during a Downing Street press conference as figures show daily coronavirus cases have reached 60,916. He was joined by Prof Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser.

Boris Johnson began by saying that as the new lockdown begins, people across the country are making “another huge sacrifice.”

He continued, “I think obviously everybody wants to be sure that we in government are now using every second of this lockdown to put that invisible shield around the elderly and the vulnerable in the form of vaccination.”

He then went on to say that more than 1.1 million people have now been vaccinated in England, and 1.3 million across the UK.

“That includes more than 650,000 people over 80 which is 23% of all the over 80s in England,” he said. This means nearly one-in-four of the most vulnerable will have significant protection in two to three weeks’ time. He committed to vaccinating 13m people over the next 6 weeks.

The PM says there will be daily updates on vaccinations from Monday, in the interests of “maximum transparency.” Additionally, he said that by next week there should be almost 1,000 vaccination sites across the country.

Prof Chris Whitty said that case rates have increased by 70% in the UK in the two weeks to 30 December.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show more than 2% of the population are now infected, which translates to over 1m people.